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Bert22306
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Model airplanes vs drones
Bert22306   5/27/2014 2:56:43 PM
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When I was a kid, there were balsa wood model airplanes powered by a rubber band, that flew a short distance. Okay, maybe that's "stretching" the point. But there have also been radio-controlled model airplanes that run on small ICE engines, for many decades, that never seem to have elicited indignation.

I'm not sure at what point these contraptions become something to be obsessive about, although I suppose at some point obsessing is justifiable.

A kid taking pictures from a model airplane, in effect, is not too worrisome, unless the thing crashes and breaks something. Perhaps the small fine reflects this.

AZskibum
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CEO
Re: Model airplanes vs drones
AZskibum   5/28/2014 10:25:14 AM
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Not only model airplanes, but also model rockets have been able to take photos from a few hundred feet above ground level for many years. Perhaps it is the privacy aspects of drones with onboard HD video cameras rather than any actual danger to aircraft or to the public that has governments in a tailspin over this.

cozytom
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Freelancer
Re: Model airplanes vs drones
cozytom   5/28/2014 11:54:57 AM
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Model airplanes in my day were fragile, and took a long time to build. You never flew them on windy days, or in the clouds or rain. They certainly never had cameras, or other sensors. 

 

Today with most flying devices, cameras are no big deal, and quite common. Like any other situation, what you do with images of people matters. You cannot film people on the street and use that commercially without their permission. You may show it in your home, with minimal repercussions. 

 

Drone operators and manufacturers always talk about how perfect their devices are. Drones are pretty good when new and well taken care of. They are easy to control on days when the sun is bright and the winds are calm. Over time the batteries become weak, and various parts wear, making the device less stable and harder to fly. Throw in some wind, rain and turbulence and they are much more difficult to control, and may pose a bigger threat to the innocent people below. 

 

There are talk about minimum altitudes, but aircraft may be operating in the same airspace as the drone. Imagine a traffic accident, with various news helicopters or medical aircraft in the area, and the drone will be operating right with them. It is important that any aircraft operating in the vicinity of another aircraft operate using the same rules, just so they stay out of each others way. 

 

Training and certification is going to have to happen before drone operations can be performed on a wide scale. Pilots, operators and aircraft are going to have to know what it takes to keep drone operations safe. Maintenance programs are going to have to be established, and certified. It won't be the wild west. 

 

 

Bob Winfrey
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Rookie
Re: Model airplanes vs drones
Bob Winfrey   5/28/2014 1:34:27 PM
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Have you wondered who really owns above your garden and who owns below your garden? I wonder how far the government owns or claim they own?

 

I worte a cool story about a near miss between a real aircraft and a model.

 

See it here.

 

http://ezinearticles.com/?A-Near-Miss-Between-an-Airplane-and-an-Aircraft-Model&id=8499884

 

I am new here and hopefully will be sharing some of my vast knowledge LOL.

 

Bob Winfrey

Duane Benson
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Blogger
Re: Model airplanes vs drones
Duane Benson   5/28/2014 2:01:47 PM
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"Have you wondered who really owns above your garden and who owns below your garden?"

In many places, the mineral rights - essentially, the ground underneath - are owned by someone other than the home owner. The US government has sold portions of the RF spectrum. In the state that I live in, all shorelines are deemed public, however in many states, they can be bought and sold.

How long until the government, or large land owners start to sell air space rights, in the same way that mineral rights can be sold?

Bob Winfrey
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Rookie
Re: Model airplanes vs drones
Bob Winfrey   5/28/2014 4:06:14 PM
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I bet they already claim the airspace LOL.

Great point

wilber_xbox
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Manager
Re: Model airplanes vs drones
wilber_xbox   5/31/2014 11:29:02 PM
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In some sense, government has already defined what is your skylimit when it said in its regulations that hobbist can only fly upto 150m only. What is not clear to me whether this is from the ground or from the topmost level of your house. Anyways!

wilber_xbox
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Manager
Re: Model airplanes vs drones
wilber_xbox   5/31/2014 11:29:02 PM
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In some sense, government has already defined what is your skylimit when it said in its regulations that hobbist can only fly upto 150m only. What is not clear to me whether this is from the ground or from the topmost level of your house. Anyways!

salbayeng
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Rookie
Re: Model airplanes vs drones
salbayeng   6/1/2014 3:56:19 AM
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@Wilbur_Xbox

Regulations vary from country to country (And I'm in Oz)

But typically unlicensed model aircraft are allowed to operate from SFC to 500'AGL

(i.e. from the SurFaCe=ground level to 500' Above Ground Level)

(In the US unlicensed ultralight can also operate here?)

From 500' to 1000' AGL is where helicopters usually operate

Pilots with low flying endorsements can operate as low as possible

Fixed wing aircraft are required to be more than 500' above man made objects, and radio/cell masts are usually 300' , and mounted on small hills, this means typically 1000' above ground. 

Fixed wing aircraft flying a circuit near an aerodrome will be at 1000' 

Cruising aircraft will be 1500' or more AGL (to avoid conflict with airport traffic) 

If you are a licensed UAV operator (i.e. professional drone driver or miltary) and have VHF radio / transponder etc, then you can pretty much operate anywhere. 

salbayeng
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Rookie
Measuring drone altitude
salbayeng   6/1/2014 4:32:32 AM
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Airliners use a "radio altimeter" to measure height AGL.  (Note that the word "height" implicitly means above "natural ground level")

An altimeter measures "altitude" as pressure and converting this atmospheric pressure to distance above mean sea level (=AMSL) , an aircraft altimeter has a zero-ing knob, so you can use it measure "altitude above field elevation"  rather than "altitude as natural height" These two methods are labelled "QFE" and "QNH" , so for example consider you take off from an airport in the mountains that is 5000' AMSL ,  before takeoff you twist the knob so the altimeter reads zero. When you get to 1000' above the airstrip the altimeter reads 1000'QFE  , now you want to fly to the coast,  if you then spin the knob so that 1013mB appears in the window, the altimeter will read 6000'QNH. I.e. 6000'QNH = 5000'Elevation + 1000'QFE

Most camera equipped drones will have a barometric sensor (and GPS) and an on screen display (OSD) ,  so they can zero the measured altitude at power up, then after that it will display height above ground (i.e. QFE altitude). So the operator can see the height at any time on his monitor, many of the drones include primitive autopilots that can operate in altitude hold or heading hold modes. 

Cheaper drones without a camera, like model aircraft, look so small at 500' that it is difficult to visually control them.

There is an inherent assumption in QFE that you are operating in a relatively flat area , so operating at 500' above Field Elevation won't stop you crashing you into the side of a nearby mountain (You really need a radar altimeter to stop that)

Low flying survey aircraft can fly 500' above undulating terrain, provided they pre-calculate a "drape" from a terrain map. (Cruise missiles do this too) 

selinz
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CEO
Re: Model airplanes vs drones
selinz   5/28/2014 2:46:55 PM
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Welcome Bob. So there's more? Okey Dokey! Let's face it, we want to see spectacular crashes. I see a model helicoptor demolition derby in our near future. With very flyable $49 helos, there could be one in a town near you soon!

 

Bob Winfrey
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Rookie
Re: Model airplanes vs drones
Bob Winfrey   5/28/2014 4:02:46 PM
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Would be cooler if we could shoot at each helicopter with a BB gun mounted on each chopper.

 

Too cool.

 

Nice to meet ya!

 

Bob

Duane Benson
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Blogger
Re: Model airplanes vs drones
Duane Benson   5/28/2014 4:42:33 PM
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"model helicoptor demolition derby in our near future."

It's here already. They had quad-copter duels at Maker Faire this year.

zeeglen
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Blogger
Re: Model airplanes vs drones - ACC prediction
zeeglen   5/29/2014 1:04:01 AM
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This whole drone discussion reminds me of a SF novel Arthur C. Clarke wrote back in 1971 called "A Meeting with Medusa".  The first chapter describes the crash of a gigantic airship caused by an out-of-control camera drone remotely operated by a news reporter.

The second chapter reveals the problem - the drone's remote control link had been routed through a satellite channel with a resulting half-second delay, causing control-loop instability on a human time scale.  As ACC so elegantly describes [quote] "...It was the turbulence over the Grand Canyon that did it.  When the platform tipped and he corrected for that - it had already tipped the other way.  Ever tried to drive a car over a bumpy road with a half-second delay in the steering?"

Arthur C. Clarke is well known for his technology predictions.  This is just one more that is currently in fruition.

jnissen
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Manager
Re: Model airplanes vs drones
jnissen   5/29/2014 8:08:01 PM
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Models today are nothing like the ones of our youth or even a few years ago. Now with HiDef camera's and first person view piloting as well as GPS asssited flying it's a whole new era. Old model airplanes could not hover in one spot and take detailed video or pictures. We have every right to be concerned with personal privacy violations using these. I have no problem with model drones at the park radio control field. I have an issue if that same drone is hovering outside my daughters window.

Luckily a 12 gauge with 00-Buckshot will easily dispatch a drone over my "garden". I would have no hesitation doing that. In fact it could be a lot of fun. Think of it as a huge misquito and your just using a flyswatter! LOL LOL

docdivakar
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Manager
Re: Model airplanes vs drones
docdivakar   5/30/2014 12:11:42 PM
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@jnissen: I agree with what you wrote! How ever, before I "dispatch" the drone with a 12 gauge, I will do some honors to it by flipping a birdie (in case some one is watching real time!), may be a bit of controlled 'mooning!" before I pull the trigger!

MP Divakar

wilber_xbox
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Manager
Re: Model airplanes vs drones
wilber_xbox   5/31/2014 11:25:52 PM
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@Jnissen, really clever idea to keep hobbist and otherwise to keep away from your private property. But i agree with you that today's drone are so advanced that there should be strict regulations.

Stargzer
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CEO
Re: Model airplanes vs drones
Stargzer   6/2/2014 12:13:31 PM
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@jnissen: "Luckily a 12 gauge with 00-Buckshot will easily dispatch a drone over my "garden". I would have no hesitation doing that."

Unless you're really way out in the boondocks, you've been listening to Vice President Biden too much.  In most suburbs the neighbors, and especially the police, frown on the discharging of a firearm. It's also frowned on in cities, but in some neighborhoods if it's only one shot no one will pay much attention unless it hits them, their house, or an innocent bystander.

I would recommend a full choke and some practice with clay pigeons first.

 

jnissen
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Manager
Re: Model airplanes vs drones
jnissen   6/2/2014 12:22:48 PM
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LOL yes lots of practice. I'm an R/C hobbiest so I really do like the concept of drones and all. As with any newer technology, in the wrong hands they could be a lot of trouble.

docdivakar
User Rank
Manager
Re: Who Owns the Space Above Your Garden?
docdivakar   5/27/2014 4:11:05 PM
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This article does bring up many concerns regarding the use of drones by hobbyists -legal and ethical. Privacy these days is a mirage! We know there are satellites watching us from the sky, video surveillance is pervasive and now we have invading cameras mounted on Quadcopters to get even more up close and personal :-(

The paparazzis in Hollywood must be salivating now that their options are many! They don't have to chase the celebrities any more -their drones can do it for them! And they can sweep down low and snoop sitting in their cars!

As for me, I will be content to taking a Dronie, i.e., a selfie from a Drone... and don't intend to go beyond that!

MP Divakar

prabhakar_deosthali
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CEO
re:
prabhakar_deosthali   5/28/2014 3:20:21 AM
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For every matter that exists in this world , there is Anti-matter. So if Drones can snnop onto your privacy, then there will be anit-drones who will destroy such drones hovering over your garden.

 

Like there are anti air craft missiles , soon there will be anit-drone defence systems and the Hollywood stars will be bthe first to install them on their sprawling premises.

 

Laws will come into existance which will give right to citizens to shoot down such drones if they are found invading on their privacy.

So let us see how the Drone Drama unfolds !

Stargzer
User Rank
CEO
12-gauge
Stargzer   6/2/2014 12:30:34 PM
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@jnissen

Actually, rather than sending up FLAK (Jay Carney just resigned), I think it would be more fun to send up an R/C P-51D Mustang with 6 BB guns or maybe a couple of scaled-down HVARs (High Velocity Aircraft Rocket).

DrQuine
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CEO
Privacy, Property, Safety, and Aviation
DrQuine   6/6/2014 5:52:01 PM
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It seems that the drones intersect four issues: Privacy, Property, Safety, and Aviation. I think that most people would consider it and unreasonable invasion of their privacy for a drone to hover outside their window and record activity inside the house. The problem becomes more complicated if the drone maintains a distance and is outside the owner's three dimensional property ... but uses a telephoto lens to record activity in the house. Obviously there is also a safety concern - especially since the drones might suffer a failure, run out of fuel, or hit a wire. Finally aviation needs to be protected from the random movements of drones. It will be interesting to see how privacy, property, safety, and aviation get resolved. 



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